Madras HC rejects plea for direction to TN govt to open liquor shopsDivision Bench of Justices R Subbiah and R Pongiappn said, “we see no infraction of any of the fundamental rights guaranteed to a citizen by reason of the closure of the liquor shops.” The bench observed that the fact that tipplers were “yearning for consuming the liquor” was not a ground for it to entertain the writ petition

THE NEWS SCROLL17 APRIL 2020  Last Updated at 6:55 PM | SOURCE: PTI

Madras HC rejects plea for direction to TN govt to open liquor shops

   Chennai, Apr 17 (PTI) The Madras High Court on Friday declined a plea seeking sale of liquor atleast for two hours a day during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, observing that any such move would nullify the efforts taken by the Tamil Nadu government to check the spread of the virus, so far. Dismissing the plea by S Stalin Raja, an advocate, the Special Division Bench of Justices R Subbiah and R Pongiappn said, “we see no infraction of any of the fundamental rights guaranteed to a citizen by reason of the closure of the liquor shops.” The bench observed that the fact that tipplers were “yearning for consuming the liquor” was not a ground for it to entertain the writ petition and issue a direction to the state government to reopen liquor shops even for few hours in a day. The petitioner submitted that due to closure of the liquor shops, several tipplers were suffering mentally and have become restless. He also referred to incidents of tipplers committing suicide due to non-availability of liquor, leaving their family in lurch. The petitioner further stated that the government has a liability to save the life of such people by opening shops at least for a few hours, so as to enable them to consume it and save their life. The court said, “we see no merits in the writ petition filed by the petitioner.” It observed that due to the spread of an invisible flu, the state government was constrained to impose a lock down. It was not only the liquor shops, but other business establishments and entertainment houses that were also shut owing to the outbreak of coronavirus, leaving thousands jobless, the court pointed out. The objective of the closure was to ensure that there was no mass gathering of people in any particular locality, which may result in spread of the virus. Therefore, if the liquor shops, which were closed for over a month, are opened, it will attract unprecedented crowd and thereby all the efforts hitherto taken by the State Government to maintain social distancing will be thrown into air, it said. PTI COR ROH ROH

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